Simple Sew: Button Down Shirt Purse

 Ah, husbands. They love their old beat up shirts. 
But you know what I love even more? 
Cutting up those bad boys and making a bag!
I did ask his permission to do said cutting, of course. I’ve only been married a year, folks. I don’t have the same power that my mom and mother in law do where they can just throw stuff out and get away with it! Gotta work up to 30 years of marriage for that!
Anyway, sweet, dear hubs has four of the exact same light blue oxford shirt. FOUR. This one in particular had a frayed collar. He couldn’t part with it, though. He was deeply attached to it… something about it being so soft. But, somehow I convinced him that he could gaze longingly at it forever if only he’d just let me turn it into a bag!
As soon as I got the ok from him, the scissors came out before he could change his mind!
I looked around for a tutorial and couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for. So, I used parts of the tutorial I used for this tote bag and adapted it for having a long strap.
My goal for this bag was to create a small rectangular purse with an over the chest strap so that when I go to the grocery store I can have my hands free.
The hardest part was figuring out what to cut and how to do it.
First I buttoned it all the way up and cut off the center like this:

Then I knew I wanted a nice long strap without any interruptions. So I cut off the back of the shirt like this including the sleeves. The straps go from the tip of one sleeve across the back to the tip of the other sleeve.

Sew the strap the way it says in this tutorial for a nice sturdy fit. It looks something like this at the end:

Now it’s time for the actual bag. I used the big front sections of the shirt to make a small bag like this as well as the liner, again using the same method that is shown here.

Now, this is important:
Unlike the last tutorial I used, you will not sew the straps until the very end. This is because you are only sewing one big strap and not two. It will get totally messed up if you sew the straps in between the liner and outside, not like I know from experience or anything… (Ok there was a lot of ripping involved in the making of this bag, haha.)
Ok so after your bag is sewn and you’ve turned it inside out, it’s time to finish it off. Attach the straps to the two sides of your bag on the outside of the bag. And, remember this guy?
Sew that over the top of the bag like this to achieve a nice finished look that hides the ends of the straps:

Any questions about my method? Just shoot me an e-mail at Cat [at] BudgetBlonde [dot] com, and I will try to explain it as best as any new sewer can! ;)
Now I want to know about you. Have any of you made something fun lately? Any recycling projects? Anyone just throw out their husband’s nasty shirts/shorts/everything without fear of repercussion? Oh, how I envy you. :)

Simple Sew: Easy Reversible Tote Bag + Linky Party

Trust me, you can learn to sew.

How do I know that? Because I learned. And, honey, if I can do it, I assure you that you can.

Like you, I grew tired of drooling over other bloggers’ pillows and curtains. I kept thinking, “Oooh if only I could do that!” And, now I can. And you can too!

From the Budget Blonde’s perspective, I understand that you might be worried about investing a lot in a sewing machine only to have it not work out. I was too, which is why I bought a very light, small starter sewing machine for $45.00. It’s not fancy. It only does a straight stich and a zig zag stich but by golly can it reverse stitch with the best of them.

I actually haven’t completed any massive projects. My first project was to make a skirt, and now I’ve made a really cute tote bag (in my own modest opinion of course). I’m excited to share it with you today.

I still don’t feel even remotely qualified to give you a tutorial so I’m going to direct you to this post on the blog Skip To My Lou. I actually researched tons and tons of tote bag tutorials and after all that searching, Cindy’s was the best. She had great pictures and was easy to understand, even for a blonde like me. ;)

It took me about 4 hours to compete due to a little trial and error. It gets easier with practice though, because a few days later, I made the same bag with my friend Laura which you can see here. It took us about half the time.

Because this is not a step by step tutorial, I’ll just share a few pictures of the process. You’ll notice that I used a yellow chevron fabric and a solid coral fabric. I wanted my bag to have a wow factor, and the pink inside does just that! It really pops, and I hope you like it!
Okay, those were just a few snippets. Are you jealous of my messy hair and ultra concentrated face? Come on, you know you are.
Now, on to the final product!

Fun right? But that’s not all.

By the time I finished the bag, my creative juices were definitely flowing. During the middle of the sewing, I chopped off the corners of the bag, which Cindy does not say to do but other tutorials did. If you want to do this, it would be right after her Step 4. I kept looking at these little corners, and I thought I should make some flowers out of these!

The interwebs came through for me and I found this post on how to make fabric flowers out of the exact shapes I had. I stuck a jewel on it, because what are jewels for right? I love how it came out.

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